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Recommended PLB?

Discussion in 'Training, Practices and Equipment' started by napDiver, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. napDiver

    napDiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California
    47
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    I've been reading the SAR equipment threads and found a lot of great information. Especially PLBs. I'm going to get one and wanted to know everyone's thoughts and recommendations.

    I'm leaning towards the ACR PLB 425 View, but I'm interested in the PLB1 for the size and price. Is there any major disadvantages to the PLB1?

    1) Resqlink 425 PLB View (All the bells and whistles)
    ResQLink 425 Buoyant Personal Locator Beacon | ACR ARTEX

    Price per year ~ 350/5 = $70/year

    2) Resqlink 400 PLB (No Screen and shorter battery life, but cheaper)
    The ResQLink 400 and ResQLink View Personal Locator Beacons | ACR

    Price per year ~ 300/5 = $60/year

    3) Ocean Signal PLB1
    PLB1 - Ocean Signal

    Price per year ~ 280/7 = $40/year

    ACR has a great comparison chart of the three (https://www.dropbox.com/s/8q8n1lcjljo7cdr/ACR PLB Comparison Chart.pdf?dl=1)
    Note: The PLB1 isn't inherently buoyant but has a sleeve that is buoyant

    Thanks for your thoughts and comments
     
  2. Fastmarc

    Fastmarc Just drifting along... ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston, Jamaica
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  3. -JD-

    -JD- Eclecticist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA
    361
    194
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    I went with the ResQLink View/425 and bought it from SBer seeker242 who provided a solid deal and great service. PM him for pricing.

    My rationale for the ResQLink series was that I preferred the integrated flotation, tool-less re-stowing of the antenna, and mounting clips. I chose the 425-view over the 400 since in a SHTF situation, I want to know that I did what was required to get the signal out, without having to remember or try to read the legend for a colored-light code. It is only 17% more anyway.

    Admittedly, the size of the PLB1 is less, but ironically, the specific dimensions would likely preclude using it in the dive canister I made.
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,440
    3,010
    113
    You don’t need float pouch when you go skiing or hiking. That’s why I have PLB1.

    Both PLB1 with canister & Nautilus Marine Rescue GPS fit in one of my BCD pocket.

    040764EB-628C-4025-83D4-BA73B5D7BF9C.jpeg
     
  5. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,856
    2,152
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    Me too for exactly the same reasons. Also, the ACR has an infrared strobe whereas the PLB1 doesn't, I believe. Longer run time as well.

    Here's something I found helpful:

    ACR.jpg
     
  6. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
    3,291
    3,497
    113
    PLB1. The other stuff is fluff.

    You're going to want to peg the PLB to you anyway, so having built-in buoyancy is a non-starter. You're going to need to attach any of them to yourself with the antenna vertical, so floating by itself isn't really a big gain.

    If they're looking for you under NOD's, they're gonna see the visible strobe either way. I don't know why people seem to think that having an IR strobe means people can't see normal visible wavelengths under I-squared. They're not any brighter to the guy who's wearing them in the helicopter.

    The LCD is eh, an extra couple hours of guaranteed battery is probably the only thing that would make me want the View over the PLB1, but the 7-year battery life of the PLB1 is nice. If nothing else, it means if you keep it for 2 battery cycles, you're gonna be almost on your 3rd set for the 400 or View while still on your second set for the PLB1. The battery replacement cost is not inconsequential.
     
    Dan likes this.
  7. -JD-

    -JD- Eclecticist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA
    361
    194
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    Unless it gets dropped during unstowing, activation, or mounting. Then you are SOL
     
  8. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,440
    3,010
    113
    Make sure you include the mounting accessories as you are not going to hold it with antenna up with your hand for 24 hours.

    PLB1 comes with mounting bracket to mount it on BCD shoulder strap that I store them in a separate pouch in BCD pocket and tether them together so when I pull them out of the BCD pocket they will stay together (see picture, below).

    3D53AC6D-7067-48DE-9722-A979EF611437.jpeg 2815E5F6-9AC0-4832-B09C-CFD3A56752BC.jpeg F2A02004-2B72-4A1B-A1CD-A9F24CCEE921.jpeg
     
  9. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,440
    3,010
    113
    Not if you tether the float pouch to it. I tested by tossing the PLB1 with the float pouch tethered to it into the water. The float pouch stay afloat with the PLB1 hanging below it.
     
  10. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,440
    3,010
    113
    PLB size matters to me as I want to put it in my BCD pocket to steam line my gears. See the relative size of these 2 PLBs, below and image you add canisters to enclose them.

    506985CF-C0FA-4127-BAB4-2776BF93E34A.jpeg
     

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